This week, we are featuring a series of reflections by Brian Harriett on music from dc Talk, a Christian rock/rap trio founded in 1987.
43 “You have heard that it was said, You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you 45 so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous.
12 Hate stirs up conflict,
but love covers all offenses.
Gave up his life so that we may livedc Talk (“Luv is a Verb,” 1992)
How much more love could the Son of God give?
Here is the example that we oughta be matchin’
‘Cause love is a word that requires some action
Jesus suffered, thinking about what had to happen, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He trembled at the prospect of drinking the cup of sin and death, but acted in knowing that following God’s will would ultimately comfort God’s people in the, “it is finished” (tetelestai) of our Savior. He knew that only from his loving act of sacrifice could come our present salvation and future sanctification (faith, growth and holiness).
Many times, when we act in love, we feel less guilty by remembering and following in the path of Jesus’ past sacrifice. The sacrifice of love can also be acted out in the present by forgiving someone who still hurts us and by continuing to love our enemies. Taking up the cross of Christ is rarely pleasant and takes time and patience to follow through, but “matchin’” is what we’re called to do.
Actively following the narrow path is difficult, but is an example to others of Jesus’ commandments that bring glory to God and a closer walk of sanctification for us! The Message version of Matthew puts it this way: “I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best…to everyone.” Have your acts of love covered any remaining hate in your life?
By Brian Harriett
For Pondering & Prayer
John Wesley wrote: “It seems God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.” How can you actively pray to God to more closely, and actively, follow Jesus, especially by loving your enemies?
Prayer: Lord, activate my God-created self in showing your love to others! Amen.